The White Plains Examiner

Westchester Jazz Orchestra Kicks Off 10th Season With ‘West Side Story’ Concert

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Members of the Westchester Jazz Orchestra DARRYL ESTRINE PHOTO
Members of the Westchester Jazz Orchestra

A runner-up for “Best Big Band” in the national JazzTimes readers’ poll, the Westchester Jazz Orchestra has made its mark creating and performing their engaging and exquisite repertoire. To kick off the group’s milestone 10th season, WJO will put a big band spin on Leonard Bernstein’s musical “West Side Story.”

Jazz radio personality Gary Walker will serve as master of ceremonies for the Sept. 29 performance at the Masters School, located at 49 Clinton Ave. in Dobbs Ferry. Patrons can arrive at 7:15 p.m. for Open Mike, a free pre-concert chat hosted by Artistic Director Mike Holober, followed by the concert at 8 p.m.

“WJO begins their 10th year coming off a sold out season and the critically acclaimed ‘Maiden Voyage Suite’ CD release,” said Walker, music director and morning show host at WBGO-FM. “You owe yourself at least one night of absolute joy and musical inspiration at the highest level.”

Holober will work with three other WJO arrangers–band member Tony Kadleck, Grammy-nominated arranger Pete McGuinness and Grammy-winning arranger Alan Broadbent–to create a WJO-commissioned “West Side Story Suite,” that will be premiered at the concert. WJO will also perform earlier big band interpretations of the musical written for the bands of Buddy Rich and Stan Kenton.

“’West Side Story’ is a perfect vehicle for WJO,” Holober said. “When I select music for the band, I look to songs that inspire me. ‘West Side Story’ has so many beautiful melodies as well as built-in drama. This is music that musicians want to perform and that audiences love to hear.”

WJO’s 2012-13 season continues with two concerts at the Irvington Town Hall Theater: “10th Year Retrospective–Our Greatest Hits” on Dec. 1 and “Top Pops: WJO Covers Dylan, Joni and Sweet Baby James” on Feb. 2. WJO closes its season at the Tarrytown Music Hall with special guest Paquito D’Rivera on April 27. WJO’s concerts are partially funded by the New York State Council on the Arts, ArtsWestchester, The Westchester Bank and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

Reserved seats are $40 for adults, $35 for seniors and $15 for students. Subscription rewards and group discounts are available. For tickets, contact the Westchester Jazz Orchestra at 914-861-9100, the Irvington Theater box office at 914-591-6602 or visit

A press release courtesy of the Westchester Jazz Orchestra.

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